Working Through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach
Environmental and natural resource policy decision making is changing. Increasingly citizens and management agency personnel are seeking ways to "do things differently"; to participate meaningfully in the decision making process as parties work through policy conflicts. "Doing things differently" has come to mean doing things collaboratively. Daniels and Walker examine collaboration in environmental and natural resource policy decision making and conflict management. They address collaboration by featuring a method "collaborative learning," that has been designed to address decision making and conflict management needs in complex and controversial policy settings. As they illustrate, collaborative learning differs in some significant ways from existing approaches for dealing with policy decision making, public participation, and conflict management. First, it is a hybrid of systems thinking and alternative dispute resolution concepts. Second, it is grounded explicitly in experiential, team-or organizational-and adult learning theories. It is a theory-based framework through which parties can make progress in the management of controversial environmental policy situations. They discuss both the theory and technique of collaborative learning and present cases where it has been applied. This is a professional and teaching tool for scholars, students, and researchers involved with environmental issues as well as dispute resolution.
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Persistent Challenges and Future Directions
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